Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back again, in pretty good shape. The weather wasn’t too bad – bitter cold on Friday when we got there, afterwards warm (for January) and wet. The Forth Road Bridge stayed open despite wind. There was no snow. My lungs seem to have survived the ordeal without lasting effect.

Not much knitting was done (a few rounds), and not much gardening (I threw some pea and poppy haulm from last year into the burn). But I made great strides with the seed catalogues.

Mel, I don’t think I could bear to give them up and rely on left-over seeds from last year, even though, like you, I have a fair collection. I love my catalogues. I love thinking, at least, about trying something new. Not this year’s New Introductions – credulous though I be, I have grown wary of them. But varieties, or whole plants, new to me.

Salsola soda, for example – “Barba di Frate” – offered by both Seeds of Italy and Real Seeds. “Mid-early annual with long chive-like foliage and intense flavour. Use fresh, braised in olive oil…” I can’t find it in Sturtevant’s “Edible Plants of the World” and therefore I assume it has alternative Latin names. It couldn’t possibly have escaped Sturtevant’s attention.

I'm thinking, too, about perpetual strawberries. Are they pleasant and undemanding ground-coverers, like the Alpine strawberries from which they must be descended?


I continue very grateful for all comments, and am by now absolutely determined on Schipol airport. I am looking forward to that sushi bar fully as much as to the wedding itself. Cynthia (of “Cynthia’s formula” for determining what percentage of the Princess centre one has so far knit) has found a flight from Athens to Amsterdam which would get Helen there in good time to join me on the outgoing flight to Hartford. I don’t know yet what she thinks of that idea.


I finished the increase part of Ketki’s first sleeve last night, and found it a couple of inches short, according to the schematic. The pattern seems to say that the top shaping comes immediately after the increases. So I added a few straight rows.

I think today, however, I’ll do the arithmetic. I could be knitting tighter than the row-gauge I fed to the pattern. I could have done the increases faster than I should have, every other row occasionally instead of every fourth row. Or the pattern – this is a Garment Wizard job – could have made another mistake. I’d better find out.

Thank you for the references to new knitting mags. I’ll follow them up. Beth, I’ve got IK. I’ve been in since the beginning, and wouldn’t miss it.


  1. If the perpetual strawberries you're thinking of are the same as the ones in my childhood back yard, I think of them as 'slow-motion invasive'. They are nearly impossible to get rid of once planted, but for all that spread fairly slowly. My parents used them in places they couldn't get any other ground cover to grow, and would pick the fruits as the mood hit them.

    How were your allergies?

  2. Anonymous1:31 PM

    My mother always had "ever bearing" strawberries and they were the sweetest berries I have every tasted - with such a delicate flavour. We lived in Ontario a couple of hours from Detroit. We used to have strawberries for dessert (no sugar needed) right into September and the first frost. Your trip sounds exciting and what a wonderful adventure. So much nicer travelling when you don't have to be back at work at a certain date. If I feel tired I just stay over a day or two. Most tickets can be changed for $150 and sometimes they don't even charge that. Buen viaje!!
    Ron in Mexico

  3. Glad you had a decent journey - I love that I need a dictionary on occasion for your blog. I have never run across the word haulm before.

  4. Glad your trip went well.

    Did you see Jessica's post about all the errors in VK? http://www.rose-kim.com/rose-kimknits/

    Very disheartening! See the January 11th post entitled Forestry.

    It makes me all the more interested in the new UK mag.

  5. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Wikipedia has a good entry for Salsola soda and all its usages.
    now i can only hope that Schiphol will not disappoint you....

  6. Oh, I've still purchased a few things to help fill garden plans out and to take the place of selections from last year which didn't perform very well. Among the new purchases are seed for some alpine strawberries I've grown before - small, but with wonderful flavour.